"Doing the dishes makes cooking possible."
- Edward Espe Brown
Round 4: Submit Results Now
Monday, February 18 - Sunday, March 3
Deadline for submitting results: Monday, March 11.
Non-exercise activity thermogenesis, or NEAT, is a part of your daily routine, even if you didn't know that. It is part of the natural energy exchange that occurs when you are awake and not eating or exercising. It is the normal active state for virtually all of your ordinary activities. In fact, for highly active people, it comprises about 60% of your metabolic activity. The following are five tips to maximize your NEAT:
- Walk everywhere, for as long as possible, as far as possible. It doesn't seem like much, but for every three flights of stairs, you burn about 20 calories. A 30-minute stroll can burn up to several hundred calories. Try parking your car farther from the grocery store. Try walking to library. Walk when your kids are at practice. If you need to have business meetings, whether on the phone or in person, try doing the meeting while you walk. Not only does the activity increase your metabolic rate, but people tend to think better when they're moving.
- Re-arrange your kitchen so that the most used items - plates, glasses, utensils - are all lower and require greater body movement. And the least used items in the more accessible areas - like crock pots, casserole dishes, stock pots. By having the common dishes lower, you can practice squatting more, which is a full-body activity. If you do squats for every glass and plate, for every meal at home, you're burning calories before you even eat! Your body will thank you, and the meal - that much more rewarding.
- Do your chores. Everything from sweeping to mopping, folding laundry, all require movement. Don't deny your body this opportunity to work. It doesn't seem like much, but allowing your body to enjoy doing chores makes the chores that much more meaningful - and less stressful, too, because it is seen as empowering and enabling.
- Prep all your foods yourself. Instead of buying pre-cut and sliced foods, buy the produce whole. Remember: if you buy things for simplicity, you're outsourcing your caloric activities. The act of standing, cleaning, chopping, and cooking are all fantastic activities that burn calories. Your kids love French fries? Cut them and cook them yourself. Not only are they healthier for you to cook them, but you can bake them or fry them in healthier oils since you're at home, and there are no preservatives. Fresh cut fries taste awesome. You can even take this further by bagging your tea or grinding your coffee by hand in a mortar and pestle. Don't neglect your hand strength.
- Crawl around with your kids. People often say that they're sore and hurting because they're aging, but the truth is people are aging because they stop doing what they did when they were kids. Move like your kids. Are they crawling? Crawl. Do they scoot around? Scoot around. Show them different ways to move their bodies. They will love it because you're bonding with them, but also because it's new. Can you crawl on your belly down the hallway? Can you clean up the living room floor like a crab? Changing your physical perspective will change your world, and it's amazing what kids can see from their vantage point.
Featured Weekly Recipes
Healthy One-Bowl Meals
This week's recipes feature bowl meals. These bowl meals are healthy, balanced, and filling, consisting of combinations of whole grains, fruits/vegetables, healthy fats, and protein. In addition, if you are looking to burn some additional NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) calories, expend some energy arranging the toppings of your bowls into mouth-watering, "Instagram-worthy" looking meals! Try placing the toppings or ingredients into artfully arranged lines across the top, or place each topping in separate sections to make your bowl as appealing to the eyes as it is to your palate.
Here is a list of this week's recipes to look forward to:
- Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Bowl
- Rainbow Veggie Spring Roll Bowl
- Roasted Vegetable Bowls with Pesto
- Raspberry-Peach-Mango Smoothie Bowl
- Ricotta & Yogurt Parfait